For this Friday Firsts post, I’d like to talk about my first romantic read. Let me start by saying that I read a ton of romance novels in my twenties. Favorite authors included Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts. My first Danielle Steel novel was Star and I read it after I saw a Lifetime TV movie version of the film starring Jennie Garth (I know, I’m dating myself here) 🙂 The book was very different, as tends to be the case, but I loved it and I was hooked. From there, I progressed to Nora Roberts novels which I loved because, they not only had romance but usually quite a mystery as well. I would stay up reading into the early morning hours because I just had to find out whodunit and if the couple was really going to end up together – spoiler alert – yes, they always did! In trying to pinpoint which of these novels was my first real romance book, I found myself going back earlier than my twenties, or even my late teens. I found myself remembering a book I read in my early teens, a time of just discovering boys and really not even understanding what romance was.
Now, don’t panic. No, I wasn’t reading Steel and Roberts-esque books at age thirteen. I was reading Sunset Kiss by Cherie Bennett. Sunset Kiss was a gift I received right around my thirteenth birthday. It was a book written for younger readers so there wasn’t anything inappropriate in it. But it definitely had a romantic theme – just read the title! Sunset Kiss is the first book I remember reading and finding myself caught up in the relationship between the main character and her love interest instead of trying to solve a mystery or catch the bad guy. I was more concerned with Carrie and her crush, Billy, a musician (because, you know, they have to be musicians, it’s romance book law!) 😉
At age thirteen, I was becoming aware of boys and how they were seeming less gross and more “cute” as the days went by. Enter a book with a bunch of teenagers working on a romantic island (Sunset Island) for the summer, and I was hooked. I remember feeling, well, dreamy reading about Carrie and Billy and their crushes. I remember thinking how wonderful it must be to fall in love. And, of course, I couldn’t wait to experience it all for myself. Sunset Kiss was the second book in a series by Ms. Bennett, and I ended up reading several books from the series in my early teens. I was fortunate enough to find a copy of Sunset Kiss in good condition through Amazon’s marketplace a couple of years ago. I loved rereading my first “love” when it comes to romance books and revisiting Sunset Island.
As I grew, so did my library. I began reading Nicholas Sparks (though he usually made me cry!), Ms. Steel, and Ms. Roberts. While I still pick up a romance novel from time to time, I don’t read them nearly as often as I used to. One, it’s hard enough working through my TBR list as it is, and two, after a while, they start to seem predictable. I would love a truly original romantic read, something new and fresh.
Do you enjoy romantic reads? Are there any you recommend? Please feel free to share with us!
Happy Reading! – Kait
Up Next: My review of the new psychological thriller The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Subscribe to the blog or sign up with your email here so you don’t miss out!